tv Morning Joe MSNBC December 19, 2012 3:00am-6:00am PST
at the top of the show we asked you why you were awake. dan has some answers. >> melody writes my kid is sick. simple as that. >> put on some cartoons or let them play on the minutes. even though he's not feeling well. >> jim said i'm thinking about the video of the mudslide and train. i'm wondering how that photographer was there. >> let's look at it again. was he sitting there all day? it seems too well-timed with the train coming by. i think we should demand a little bit of an investigation.
thanks, dan. "morning joe" starting right now. this is a difficult time for americans. that's why while we continue to have conversations with the white house, i continue to have hope we can reach an agreement. it's not a time to put americans through more stress. >> to the extent that an event like that, as tragic as it is, brings us a little closer together both in the nation and in washington, that would be a good thing. >> all right. top of the hour. good morning. 6:00 on the east coast, it's wednesday, december 19th. christmas is almost here. >> very respectful dialogue. the nra had a respectful statement. i think a lot of people showing respect on this. >> feel something may be be happening. >> feel some grown-ups, maybe.
there are, of course, exceptions. >> there are a few. we have mike barnicle with us. you're not an exception. beautiful piece in "the daily news" today. we'll read that in must read. thank you very much. former treasury officials. mark ratner is with us as well. he has a must read. i'm serious. >> beautiful. >> also in washington, washington anchor for "bbc world news america" katty kay. >> no pieces, sorry. >> you'll write one next time. thank you. so we've got a lot to get to this morning. >> a lot to talk about today. >> those exceptions, what are you talking about? >> just in the conversation about everything you thought there were two exceptions. >> rick perry, governor of texas, and -- >> is it bob -- >> they said we need to -- we need to arm teachers. >> we have to think about it. >> somebody in the school with a gun. >> guns in school. that's great. you know what?
this gelts me thinking, right? >> really? >> so that's what we're going to take care of last friday. so the shooting in the mall in oregon. >> yeah. >> i'm thinking maybe if we arm like the people that do the smoothies and whatever. >> or the sun glaglass hut thea or movie theater, the kid that give you popcorn. >> spencer's gifts. okay that doesn't make a lot of sense. >> that's an answer. come on. by the way, bock b mcdonald, a i like and respect, bob mcdonald -- i like him and agree with him 90% of the time. on this gun issue, i saw jim's report a couple of years back. these gun shows in virginia where he gets a kid that was injured during the virginia tech shooting with an old i.d., and
they just start handing him guns. >> he came home with i think about six assault rifles in the trunk of his car. yeah. that was a good day in our household. brought them back to new york. >> places like philadelphia. >> you look at murders across the tri-state area, so many come from virginia in that gun show loophole. bob mcdonald said we need more guns and give teachers guns. you know what? before you arm more people, look at the gun shows in virginia that, again, allow trafficking of these illegal arms up here. i mean, that they are bought legally and end up in the wrong hands. >> they close it after jim's report and mayor bloomberg is doing his own undercover work on this. >> that's one way we show we're not totally serious about cracking down on guns.
another one is to say that connecticut is tough on guns, which a lot of people have said in the last few days, and they are by the standards we have. the fifth toughest according to the brady campaign. you can get any number of automatic rifles. you can have a grenade launcher attachment on these. it's not really tough on guns but by the standards we have. >> tough by the standards we have, which are very low. this slippery slope argument you can make on everything. if the tsa can frisk me at the airport, then what's going to stop them from following me back out to my car and checking through the trunk of my car and following my car back to my house and kicking down my door and going into my closets? you can make the slippery slope aargument and everything, and i have friends that i have great respect for at the nra that have been supported by the nra that still believe that if -- >> you get their point. >> of course i get their point. but they say if you take away
this guy's bushmaster, then you take away withthe glock. no, we're not. no, no. guess what? people like mansion and myself, 80%, 85% of congress would not allow anybody to come close to a glock that people use to protect themselves, a shotgun people use. it's ridiculous. >> you have to expect -- you have to respect the fact that at the end of the day we can be reasonable about this, is and we can find a middle ground and find a place to draw a line that is both the right thing for society and also the right thing for the individual. what i've been thinking about the last few days as i watched all this horror, one of the things that struck me is that in my business, in the securities business, for you to operate in the securities business, depending upon what part it is, you have to take tests. you have to be certified.
you have fob fingerprinted and background checked and drug tested. if you work in a sales or trading job, they can record your phone calls to make sure whatever your interactions with your customers are are on the up and up. this is all part of a regulatory system. yet, we say we cannot impose any form of regulation on something that actually kills people. >> i know a young man who applied for a job at a large financial institution who -- he wasn't arrested for it, but he had a fake i.d. when he was 20 years of age in college, used a fake i.d. and had it taken from him and it was reported to the school authorities. he couldn't get hired. he couldn't get hired because that was on his record. >> but he could have bought a gun? >> he could have bought a bushmaster. >> this is the craziness. this is the craziness. >> so let's first get to what's going on in washington. this morning president obama is expected to announce that vice
president biden will spearhead his administration's response to the newtown shooting. the president is not expected to go into detail on policy decisions. the national rifle association has broken it's silence issuing a statement that reads in part this. the nra is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again. that's significant. >> can i stop for a second there? if progressives, if moderates, if conservatives that are concerned about these magazine clips and assault weapons, if they want to feel self-righteous and scream and yell, they can do it and we won't get a deal. this is like the fiscal cliff. in the end it's like in "lincoln" with the 13th amendment. if the nra comes out and says something like that, instead of everybody going, now that blood's on your hands, you know what? guess what? feel self-righteous.
you can save lives, or you can feel self-righteous. beat your chest like jim and tammy faye bakker if that's how you sleep at night. if that gets you through the night, go ahead. i tell you what, the art of politics, when somebody extends an olive branch, you take it. >> exactly. >> you take the olive branch, and then you grab their arm and then you bring them in and you figure it out. >> this is something that i don't think i've seen it before. before we get to katty kay we haven't heard a lot from gun rights advocates or republicans on this side of this. have you talked at all to any conservative leaders on it? >> i have. >> that haven't spoken out? >> i have spoken, and i don't usually do this. i work, and i'm with my family. i don't spend a whole lot of time the on the phone talking. i spent yesterday it talking to conservative leaders, and i deliberately called the most powerful, influential conservatives in america, got them on the phone, and i will tell you the one word i kept
hearing over and over again. am bif lent. we're am bif lent about this issue. when it comes to, you know, gun bans, we don't know that it's going to help, but at the same time we have kids, too. so when i say he am bif lent, i know a lot of people aren't am bif lent about the horrors they say. it broke their heart and shattered them. as far as are they going to stand up and draw the line in the sand and put their lives on the line and the career on the line and the networks on the line and their newspapers on the line and their magazines on the line and their careers on the line and the republican party on the line and the conservative movement on the line so some survivalists can go around with automatic weapons? no, nathey're not.
they're just not, and the nra has to realize this. i heard the same thing over and over again. we were with them. we've always been with them. somebody brought up yesterday the nra back in the a'50s and '60s they took you out and taught you how to use guns safely. they said, you know, they just keep pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing. whatever we support they want more, and enough. so i think the nra is hearing this from a lot of long-time friends, and they realize that people aren't going to go over the cliff with them. they're going to have to pull back and, you know, cop killer bullets and all of these other things. >> let's open the door to that. >> don't you think it has to happen quickly. i'm struck with joe's piece with "the washington post" a couple of days ago where you talked about what happened when rfk got shot and he used that as a moment to advance three years of trying on gun control. he told his guys, we have 30 days.
we have to get this done now. they got going, and eventually the nra closed in and they got a piece of what they wanted. they never got it all. if we do something here, the president has to do it now. >> katty kay, what do you make of the choice of joe biden to spearhead the policy decisions that are to come? >> the president put joe obviously in terms of relations with congress before in a position like this, and he's had some successes. you still have to wonder how much is really going to change. i just got back from newtown yesterday, and it's -- it's obviously brutal up there. you've moved in a state from shock when i first went up early on saturday morning to real raw grief and anger by the time i left. but there is still up there as well conflicting views on what to do about gun control. i spoke to one person that came out of the president's vigil, and she said no, we have to arm teachers in schools. she hates the violence.
she wants to make sure this never happens again. that was a mother who had kids in the newtown high school. so i just thought it was -- it's interesting that even in that community where they've gone through all of this, there are different opinions on how you best deal with this. i speak to some people on the gun control side. i spoke on to one person who has a very hard line on this, the author of a book "more guns less crime." he says every single time there have been implementation of tougher gun laws, it hasn't done anything to really remove gun crime, it to distinguish gun crimes. now, that's not totally true. there are examples around the world. australia in '96 with a mass shooting and they implemented tough gun laws. mass shootings haven't happened since. in britain it took time. we had our own horrendous killing of small children in a
scottish school. there was a spike in gun crime after a handgun law was introduced. it lasted four years, and aafter that we see a decline of gun crimes in britain. there are example where is the law is changed and the gun crimes have diminished. >> well, i don't know, you know, what academic you spoet to katty, but i don't want him teaching my children. it's flat out wrong that when gun legislation is enacted in states that gun crimes rise after -- it's -- you can prove it statistically. it's wrong. but the larger point, you know, of what you just said is perhaps we should -- the vice president could lead this, i guess, in these talks that are going to start. drop the phrase "gun control" from the lexicon and start implementing the phrase "gun sense." again, it makes no sense for any citizen, law-abiding citizen to go into a sports goods store in
a mall and buy a weapon they use in afghanistan, that navy s.e.a.l.s use in afghanistan. the other aspect of it is governor mcdonald or anybody else or it this poor woman in newtown, connecticut suggesting that teachers be armed in schools, think about that. stop and think about that for a second. you come out of your classroom because someone is in vadivadinr school and you come up with a glock and you're yonlted with someone with a bushmaster weapon in the hallway. >> i totally aagree it makes no sense. i'm reporting what people said. this guy was wearing body armor. you have to be a trained marksman to take him out. >> i can certainly understand the sentiment of the parents up there, because i have the sentiment not so far away from that school. where my kids go to school, i want an armed guard, a trained
armed guard. i want tough security measures. i understand that sentiment completely. >> where does that end? >> part of the sadness in newtown and sandy hook is they did everything they could. nobody opened the door for the guy. they did everything in their power and still this happened. in the immediate aftermath on friday of this horror, everyone talked about gun control pretty quickly, and people said, you know, we ought to do something, but nothing is going to change. the answer was because of the political power of the nra. i guess i would ask you, joe, as someone who has held office, what are the political costs of crossing the nra? how serious is it? mayor bloomberg has called that a complete myth. what's the problem? >> i can tell you in 1994 i ran, and nobody knew who i was. the nra worked overtime to defeat me because they didn't know me. they knew a state legislator they wanted in, and they worked overtime and spread lies about
me. things that were factually false and went after me aggressively and i got 62% of the vote. i think they're very powerful. who knows maybe 3, 4, 5% of the 38% of the vote my opponent got maybe it was people that believed the stuff that the nra sent out. it all depends. you know, i -- whenever i had a friend that i was going to disagree with, i'd go to them and say, listen. just because ronald reagan i'm with you 80% of the time, i'm going to cross you. i'd say this all the time. are we friends or enemies? if we're enemies, i'm good and i can go with that, but you need me in the future. you're not going to get me on this vote. i need to know now. are you my friend or political enemy? i think there's a lot of conservatives that can go to the nra and say, been with you. got an a rating. i can't be with you anymore on
assault weapons. i can't be with you on these bushmasters. i can't be with you on these clips. >> ammunition. >> the ammunition. i can't be with you on combat-style assault weapons. i just can't. you know what the nra is probably going to say? give you a pass on this one. >> at this point, come on. >> maybe those conversations are happening privately, but publicly we've only heard from a handful of others. >> i'm sure they are. by the way, good luck washington lobbyists. going to the hills of west virginia and telling west virginia i virginiaians that joe manchin is a trader and is soft on guns and doesn't care about your constitution. good luck. take that message to the hills of west virginia. i hope you have a car that gets you out of there quickly and back on to washington, d.c. because they know joe. they trust joe. joe's been with them. he's held them. he's cried with them after
mining disaster. joe manchin is an american hero and a west virginiian hero. good luck telling they that joe is not tough on crime or wants to compromise your second amendment rights. good luck. not going to happen. >> uh-huh. go ahead, ratner. >> what makes this different and the more effective is there are other joe manchins and rockefeller and joe scarborough who are not left wing liberals and have credibility on this issue, and that may make it different this time. timing is the essence. we have to move quickly. >> i'm still waiting to hear a republican that's elected step out and say something like joe manchin said. i haven't heard it yet. i haven't heard anything from the republican party, and you just wonder this long after a mass killing like that, little 6 and 7-year-olds, that there's
not a single republican in america in elected office that's not going to step up and say something? >> i think that says something in itself. >> i think it's time to talk, guys, women. one way or the other, where do you stand on this issue? where do you stand on gun safety? where do you stand on our culture of violence? where do you stand on mental health? where do you stand? i want to hear it. >> speaking of mental health sxoer iand other issues, we end this block with another thought about where this began. from "the new york post," den of doom. killer's basement, his eerie lair of violent video games. he spent hours playing violent video games such as "call of duty" in the basement of his home. come on. it's connected. i'm sorry. i'll make blink. >> i got to say, it's interesting. you would think, wouldn't you, after i said what i said on monday i would get hammer by dwefsh actives and getting
hammered by -- i don't know. just getting hammered. i haven't. on the gun issue, i've got nothing but support from my nra friend, from my friends from first he baptist in pensacola, from my friends across northwest florida, from my friends across the deep south, hunting culture. they're good. they get it. i have gotten so much push-back every time i dare talk about violent video games, and maybe it's because i got a 24 -- actually 25-year-old son, happy birthday. i have a 25-year-old and 21-year-old boy, and they grew up as the video game started again with that first james bond thing that simulated once person shooting another to me being horrified to us sitting around with headphones playing "call of duty." let's play "call of duty." you're shooting thousands of people, gears of war, shooting these people, and it's a guy
thing. it is totally a guy thing. i tell you, it desensitizes -- i had a guy say i play grand theft auto. am i going to shoot people? no. things like grand theft auto is desensitizing our youth. gears of war desensitizing our youth and call of duty. >> i completely agree. i have two boys, and they are kind of itching to play these games. i can see them. i have always banned "call of duty" from the house having seen it once and was horrified by it. we're looking at boys between the ages of 18 to 25 most likely to smilt these crimes. exactly the same range group of boys who are playing this video game. that's the target audience for these video games. >> we even now have a profile of
a school shooter. >> not to defend them. last night i was with hollywood people. what's your role in this? they said, basically, if you look at uk they have a culture of violent games, the same games and everything around. obviously, they don't have these same shoot problems. if you like at japan, they have the most vicious, violent video games of anybody, and they don't have these issues. they don't have a murder rate. >> guess what? tell your hollywood friends, we got hundreds of millions of guns on the street. we ain't japan, so you fight the war on the battlefield before you and the battlefield before us is there is easy access to guns. there will be easy access to guns regardless of what gun safety legislation. >> to parents while i still have control, because you lose it as they get older, don't let them do it. find something else. it's hard. it's easier said than done
because a lot of kids sit there for hours and it's their baby-sitter, but no. >> steve, i understand that's not your position, but i'm hearing this a lot of from people in hollywood. no response. quentin tarantino was unbelievable incense it actisen. what a total jackass. left wingers say i want to -- there's a slippery slope on first amendment rights. >> it's always a mistake to do exactly what you want to do when in this kind of situation. you have to recognize the political realities and do something. >> right. all right, coming up i meant to end on a thought. >> please end on the thought. "time" magazine managing editor rick stengle will reveal the person of the the year. also chuck todd anded financial times. also meredith vieira and jenna
bush hagger on first families remembering thiz christmases in the white house. also, we talk about the other big story of the morning that we still haven't gotten time to get to. benghazi. >> oh, my gosh. >> boy. >> a devastating report. aa devastating report. >> it raising a lot of questions that i wonder p if anyone has the guts to ask. >> about hillary clinton. >> yes. here is bill karins with a check on the forecast. bill. >> we'll talk about the first blizzard the winter moving across the country. big travel issues over the next two days from denver up through areas around chicago. let me show you what the map looks like. this is our winter storm warnings and advisories. the little arrows on here show you blizzard warnings in effect. the storm is now just south of denver. by tomorrow afternoon it's going to be near chicago. it's this area to the north of the storm where the worst of the weather will be with the wind and also the snow. now, the timing of the storm, no problems in morning. late today driving home through nebraska, very difficult. you did not want to travel
tonight into tomorrow through much of iowa and southern wisconsin. that's this area in here that will be dealing with blizzard conditions as we go throughout the day tonight into tomorrow morning. chicago gets on the backside of this storm. you will get some snow, too. how much snow are we talking out of this? we're looking at the pobltds of up to 12 inches of snow in areas from omaha, lincoln, des moines to green bay. it does not head to the east coast. the other problem is late tonight we have storm thunderstorms, maybe tornadoes in arkansas, louisiana, and mississippi. this is a major winter storm for the middle of the nation, and it's just beginning in areas of colorado. you have a slippery commute from denver all the way to boulder. you're watching "morning joe." we're brewed by starbucks. this family used capital one venture miles
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welcome back to mortga"morn joe." there are new developments involving the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi. it places most of the blame on the state department for providing extra security. they conclude a systemic management failure at the state department resulted in grossly inadequate security at the consulate where four americans were killed that night. the report says the u.s. relied on poorly skilled local militia members to safeguard the facility, and investigators found no evidence it was sparked by protests to an anti-muslim video. >> no evidence of that, and that's what, of course, the white house and the press led with after this happened. >> this is from an independent panel. >> unbelievable. gross negligence, willie, against hillary clinton's state
democrat department. >> the report found no cause for disciplinary action. they made 29 recommendations to improve embassy security. secretary of state hillary clinton reportedly has accepted all of them. >> can i ask you, when is the hearing? >> thursday. >> what is she going to say at the hearing. >> she's not going to be present. she's sending someone in her sted. >> is susan rice going to fill in again? >> no. secretary clinton suffered a concussion last week and will not be available for testimony. >> a concussion? where is she hospitalized. i want to send flowers. is she okay? >> she fanlted and fell and suffered a concussion. her two doctors examined her and certified she had a concussion. i know where you're going, but i think she has a concussion. >> i'm not going anywhere. i love hillary clinton. do you know anybody more supp t supporti supportive? i've called her a girlfriend for years. when a friend is hurt you want to send her flowers. >> send her flowers.
>> she's resting at home? >> she's resting at home in washington. she was told not to go to the office this week. >> who told her that? >> her doctors. >> they must know her quite well. >> when did she have a concussion. >> do you go to the same doctor? >> she had a stomach problem and was dehydrated and faints. >> why are you smirking? >> you're smirking at me. >> i'm not smirking. i'm worried about her health. >> you don't have a grave look on your face. >> let me see. i think you look grave. >> are you concerned about measure? >> i have been for days. >> for days? when did this happen? >> i think it up happened last friday or saturday. >> last friday. but a week later she's not going to testify? >> haven't we read enough about concussions. >> some quarterbacks have a concussion in the first quarter and go back the third quarter. i'm glad she's resting at home.
this bombshell report comes out, and now you're smirking. >> stop it. >> i don't know what you're talking about. >> this bombshell report comes out, and so she's not going to testify she had a concussion last week. but susan rice is going to -- >> she's going to go and -- >> is susan rice? >> no. >> she let susan rice do it because she had nothing to do with what happened go into the sunday talk shows. >> nare sending in two white guys to testify for her. >> they'll be fine. lindsey graham will have no problem then. >> they went down the depth xhart chart a few spots. >> why don't they move it? somebody is filling in for her? >> nare great. i love them both. >> i don't get it. >> wow. >> was mike smirking when we were talking, alex. >> this is a no smirk zone.
you're obviously very concerned about that. mike, you're very concerned about her health, aren't you? >> i waam concerned about secretary clinton's health. >> i'm concerned about your health. you sound horrible. >> i'm glad you're here and you're here. >> it was a little karakoke at a christmas. this is a problem for secretary clinton for two reasons. it this moves all the debate around athat table and elsewhere is what happened after the attack, after the with this ini pretty convoluted story. this report moves the debate to what happened before pointing out that a little bit of a failure of imagination by the state department saying that it was relying too much on specific warnings of imminent attacks, not looking enough at the security environment, not watching for deteriorating conditions so they could have a better system in place. so this points the fault going back many months to when these
local militias were hired. second, and this is what you have been alluding to there, second clinton is gone in a month. she's had a very successful run, but all of a sudden now there's this big problem at the end and she doesn't have a kans to early improve her record or convince people otherwise. this is an unfortunate period for her at the end of a great run. >> gross negligence. katty kay, it is significant. very significant report, and again, a lot of people are going to be asking when they can hear from secretary clinton. >> two important allegations about the state department. they didn't do what they needed to do to make these embassies secure, and they had intelligence failure regarding the type of threat it was. the question asked among experts is there really here a failure of the administration's counterterrorism policy? that all of the drone strikes
we've heard so much about have done something in ferms of taking out al qaeda leaders in pakistan and some in east africa but they haven't killed al qaeda but it sfred in a different form and mutated to places like libya and mali and it's a growing threat in the region. what this is getting to was that al qaeda is still well and alive and what the administration has been doing hasn't necessarily knocked it out. that was what happened in libya. >> it is, in fact, bill burns and tom noois, deputy secretaries of state testify tomorrow. one of the big things that jumps out is who is protecting dip he mattic missions. this was many members of the libyan militia who when the attack began fled because they have no loyalty or commitment, incentive to protect what's happening nsdz. in the report it suggests they may have left the gates open for
the people that came in. >> i wonder how much relates it to budget cuts and how much is a function of the way we've been squeezing this stuff. >> i don't know, though. p if you're going to cut, you don't cut in benghazi. you don't cut in libya where you had a war a couple of months ago. >> you wouldn't think so. they move money from iraq now to provide more security to other embassies. >> one of the big issues is the host country is responsible for the protection of embassies and consulates. when the host country is collapsing, you better step in. >> willie, what's next? >> we were just joking about -- i think you said the white guys or something. we were just joking. a little levity. i said lindsey's name. that goes back to the republican party being tone-deaf. lindsey is a great gaet. >> the secretaries are high ranking. >> that's another thing. they're great guys.
>> okay, frady cats. >> fraidy cats? i said something i shouldn't have said. sometimes it happens. >> what's next? >> the host of espn's college game day chris hughefowler. >> take us through bowl season, bama and notre dame when we come back. everyone loves surprise parties. yeah, so last week we had a surprise party for our dear friend, lizzy. surprise! surprise! surprise! surprise! we totally got her! [ male announcer ] when you combine creamy velveeta with zesty rotel tomatoes and green chiles, you'll get a bowl of queso that makes even this get-together better.
we're approaches the end of december here which means one thing, college bowl games. >> vandy. >> i cannot wait every year what do i say, yim wiwillie? what do i say? this year the music city bowl is better than last year. finally it's true this year. i can't believe it. >> we got the match-ups everybody was shooting with. >> vanderbilt plays wesley college? >> don't cheapen it. >> why do you cheapen it? >> mr. chris fowler is here earlier. >> if the world doesn't end, the vanderbilt and nc state. >> who do you like in the game? 11 a.m. >> teams with interim head coaches don't perform that well
in bowl games. >> we locked up a great coach in james franklin. >> what's every kid's dream? >> to play at 11:00 a.m. on january 1st. when i was throwing around the football in the backyard, i had one day -- >> some don't go to the national title game every year relentlessly. >> i'm proud, alabama and notre dame. the view from the s.e.c. is noelt free dame is adorable. >> that's the view about the opponent thrown at them in front of the game. do they belong in the game? of course they do. they navigated a tough schedule. they're 90-1 preseason. that's an incredible story they've overcome. we'll find out if they belong with alabama. until the s.e.c. is dethroned, they deserve to crow and brag and put down opponents in the game. alabama is prepared and ready
and have experience on the side and have a lot of people predicts an emphatic alabama win double-digit favorite in the bcs championship game. it's unusual. >> you are you old enough willie? i think you are. i know you guys are. i think it was '86-87. miami arrives playing penn state and come off the plane in fatigues. people say the same thing about penn state they say about notre dame right now, and penn state rose up and kicked miami's tail. every time i hear talk like this -- >> the tide are going to arrive in fatigues and take notre dame lightly? i don't think so. >> they have sabin. you get the point every time. we never thought texas a&m would come within it. >> the bcs is the team disrespected and underdog has heard for five or six or seven weeks, you have no chance. you don't belong in the game. very frequently that's been a strong motivating factor. maybe it's been the reason why there have been a fair number of
upsets in games like this. that's a dramatic example. there have been other examples as well. ohio state beating another miami team more recently than that. >> i never thought texas was going to beat usc in '03-04. >> bigger picture, chris s-what's the answer to the question why the s.e.c. is so dominant and they seem to win in the end? when you look at it, california has grate athletes and texas has great athletes. why has this s.e.c. so much better than everybody else the last decade? >> that's a big question. i can bore you with talk of it. that's part of that. i think football is still very, very important at a high school level, at a youth level in the south all across the region more so than other regions. you see the football is a generalization, but in some ways shrinking in importance in other parts of the country. this part of the country, for example. >> it's our life. >> the answer is speed and strength. that's the answer.
>> we had three add-a-days in august. i didn't play baseball, because if you wanted to play football in the fall you played spring football in the spring. it's our obsession. >> the number of players available in the talent pool is staggers, joe. neez states wouldn't be known for being in the top five in that many categories are in the top five when it comes to football talent. nose s.e.c. schools feast on that. look at the recruiting rankings. it's no secret and accident that s.e.c. teams are -- there's seven or eight in the top 25 in recruiting every year. >> chris, do you feel there's any substance to the rumors floating around if alabama wins sabin moves on and goes to the pros and cleveland? >> i don't think nick has the same fascination foog back to the nfl to right the wrong that happened in miami. pete carroll had a strong desire to go back to the nfl and fix things. he surprised a plot by leaving usc. i don't think sabin is going to
do. >> he left usc before they handcuffed him to a radiator. he had no choice. >> i think the same thing will happen. i don't. money is no issue to him. he makes plenty of it. people might scoff at that. if there was an equity interest in the ownership in the nfl, something you couldn't turn down, mike, maybe that might sway him. i think he's very happy at alabama. is he going to get bored winning championships every year? is he going to continue to focus on chasing down bear bryant's records there? >> did jon wooden get bored? nobody has won that since the 1940s. do you want to say you're a good nfl coach be the best college football coach ever? >> he has a taste of the nfl. did he that. before you go, you were there when johnny manziel won the
heisman. can you talk about that? >> the voters decided not to hold freshman status against a guy. you can agree or disagree with the vote. it's amazing, two years ago the kids in high school watching cam newton on the stage, two years later he's making the same speech after breaking newton's records. when tebow won the heisman five years ago as a sophomore, that opened the door for saying maybe not hold it against freshman. there's guys with great freshmen years in the past, but this was a special case. it was a star-packed heisman race. that played into it. let's see how johnny handles it. we've never seen them handle it two or three years after. >> he's an alabama fan. >> we will see. >> alabama at texas a & m. smart pick on the music city bowl, too. we'll be right back with mika's
♪ ♪ i want candy all right. for our must read today, we have mike barnicle "the new york daily news," a promise to the children newtown. now we residence a regiment of the wounded, the survivors baring the whole company of a young dead in a small new england town filled with grief that can't be measured. this time homicide came for our children and blasted through a school room door and claimed five teachers and a principal who had more courage when facing a rifle than many have confronting a gun lower. it will perhaps finally force the president and politicians in congress to give america a small element of common sense, a defense against insanity, a law makes it impossible to purchase across the countrier at a gun
shore orion line a weapon made for war from a store located in a shopping mall. i he mean, you would think now, mike. >> you know, i certainly agree with steve and everyone else. time is of the essence in terms of pushing legislation, but there is still -- there's a resonance to this that will last beyond just a few weeks in the public's mind. >> we certainly all hope so. we have to hope so. >> still ahead, we have the british chancellor of the ex-checker george osbourne and gillian tett. stay with us. we'll be right back. that's a cool smartphone.
coming up, dork fest. >> this guy, is number one the on the "new york times" best seller list a couple weeks ago. he's a pulitzer prize-winning historian. >> he's back from "jeopardy." >> he's number one. it's an extraordinary book. "killing jefferson." by the way shgts i have no idea where you came up with that series idea. it's he killer. [ male announcer ] this is bob,
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joe, look at that beautiful shot of new york city. it's the top of the hour. we have mark barnacle with us. joining the table we have jon meachem. joe, if you could sit down, that would be great. >> we're talking about american gospel. >> jon meachem's number one book. >> the author of "thomas jefferson: the art of power," a best seller. welcome back to the show. >> where did he come up with the
concept killing jefferson? >> it's original. it's original. i hope you all are ready next spring, because it will be garfield, as brian whim yams, that's killing garfield the cat. mckinley is coming up. >> that's going to be a big one. >> it's huge. >> you going one by one? >> yeah, yeah. it's good because i go -- 38 of them have died. >> that's a good point. >> killing harrison. it's going to be -- >> that will be a best seller. >> it's a shorter one. >> like i said, dork fest. >> the guy that didn't wear the jacket to his inauguration and died. >> there's an interesting debate about that. >> who took the overcoat away? >> john tyler. the first time a vice president actually ascended to the office. big constitutional crisis. >> he said to harrison, you look fetching without that jacket. you should really keep the jacket off. killing harrison right there.
that's your book. >> i'll be back to talk about that. >> let's get to the news, and actually brighten it up a bit. >> i have to check my coat since then. >> no. he covered that. >> we will go et to benghazi. i think you raised some questions, but a lot of people are mad at you, too. >> i didn't raise any questions. i was asking why i was smirking. you have people mad at me? >> yes. >>s w why is that? >> you raised the economy but you can't smirk. >> he was smirking right there. >> they're all great questions, and i think i second you on the questions. we will get to been ganghazbeng. >> what question did i raise? >> no. okay. >> i care about somebody's health, and i'm getting attacked for that? maybe i care too much. >> that's been a problem. >> it has been a problem for a long time. this is a devastating report on
benghazi in all seriousness. they accuse the state department of just grossly inadequate security. first ambassador killed since 1979. it's just terrible. >> okay. >> it is. i haven't read the reports. i read the reports of the report and think that it is the case that secretary clinton has had a great -- i think a great four years diplomatically. this is a terrible event, and the responsibility goes straight to the top. as president kennedy taught us a long time ago, victory has 1,000 fathers and defeat is an orphan. if you have this job, to much is given much is expected. >> we'll start there, then. there are new developments involving the deadly aattack in benghazi. an independent report is placing most of the blame on the state department for failing on provide security for the compound. the panel concludes that
systemic management failures at the state department reported in, quote, grossly inadequate security at the consulate where four americans including ambassador chris stevens r were killed. the report says the u.s. relied on poorly skilled local militia member to safeguard the facility. investigators found no evidence the aattack was sparked by protest. despite a laundry list of failures, the report found in cause for disciplinary action. the review board made 29 recommendations to improve embassy security. secretary of state clinton has reportedly accepted all of them, and there are hearings soon on this. >> so what has happened here, mike barnicle? of course, you had the white house saying several things early on suggesting this wasn't an act of terror, despite what candy crowley said, by al qaeda.
petraeus testified for the senate that they knew immediately it was an act of terror. five days later susan rice comes out famously saying what she said, which is completely opposite of what petraeus said they knew the day after. and now this. this bombshell report. what's happened here? what's happened over the past several months? >> well, again, reports of the report that are in most of the papers today indicate that this is not just the consulate in benghazi. this is probably several embassies and consulates around that area, that region of the world. understaffed intelligence on the ground. on the ground intelligence grossly inadequate. human intel, grossly inadequate. the response to the attack was obviously inadequate. again, reports of the report indicate the closest drone that
he had was 90 miles away. they have the drone up in order to provide a path way to escape for the people still on the ground who were not casualties, already casualties. in terms of military help, it was almost impossible in terms of timing to get military help there. part of it, steve, i think you're absolutely right. it has to do with funding or lack of funding at not just this consulate or embassy. >> that's such a rabbit trail. if you've just fought a war in a country that has no -- >> but they hadn't, joe. it was an air war. >> no, no. i say there was no real government there. they've been gutted, so the state department -- hillary clinton looking and saying where do i put my people? oh, gee, they're going to cut back some funding for this. are you going to look at a country that basically just had its dictator of 30 years run out of town? no. >> that's where the incompetent
comes in, because in the host countries, not just libya but any country, the host country is responsible for security at consulates and embassies. in this case the host country had no government. >> right. >> had no government. >> so you have to step in? >> exactly. >> they didn't. katty kay, there was gross negligence made worse, though, by the white house, the state department, everybody botching this story and i won't say trying to cover it up, but certainly trying to evade the very uncomfortable facts so much so that the secretary of state sent the ambassador to the united nations who had nothing to do with this out to do interviews on sunday talk shows. >> yeah. i still think that the amount of vitt real susan rice suffered after the television aappearances from john mccain and lindsey graham was
disproportionate. she said stuff which she knew the intelligence was counter to and gets the briefings. the one that was responsible was hillary clinton at the head of the state department when it comes to the security. i think that it does go, though, to this broader issue of the administration's counterterrorism success or lack of success, because i think there was the fact that they were not looking at the deteriorating overall situation in libya shows they're only looking at individual attacks and suggests that they're not taking the whole picture of where al qaeda still is in communities. it's still there in libya. it's in mali. it's growing in syria. that kind runs against the message that we get orage the ws to put out it has had a successful run against counterterrorism because of the drone strikes. if you start to see al qaeda and libya and all the other
countries, you have to start to question whether the policy is successful, right? >> all right. we'll be following this. i guess the testimony will continue without her, which i think is interesting. >> jon wanted to say something. >> i think secretary clinton has a really interesting opportunity here it seems to me. she is leaving. she can be as fully candid, take responsibility, and she's accepted the recommendations. actually talking about what happened nofr you can without compromising sources and methods. people it seems to me -- i think we've seen this in connecticut. i know we see this again and again in stories that tend on to obsess us all too briefly. we all intuitively know this is really difficult. it's difficult to secure embassies and fight terrorists. i disagree with katty a little bit. i think this has been a remarkable run for administrations in the past five
to seven years, but to actually just treat the american people like grown-ups, talk to us like adults, say, yes, we screwed up. we made these mistakes, but be candid about it. churchill had a wonderful sense that the people will trust you if you trust them. trying to spin this, that's always where these things go wrong. >> i wironder if that was addressed. >> i think she'll do it. i think its in her nature to do what jon said, but we'll find out. >> with the fiscal cliff deadline quickly approaching boehner proposed a plan b proposal outlined yesterday should the negotiations break
down. take a listen. >> our plan b would protect american taxpayers who make a million dollars or less and have all their current rates extended. i continue to have hope that we can reach a broader agreement with the white house that would reduce spending as well as have revenues on the table. i think it would be better for our country, but at this point having a backup plan to make sure that as few american taxpayers are affected by this increase as possible. >> the white house swiftly rejected the plan that would extend bush era tax cuts for everyone except the top 2%. it would do nothing to prevent deep spending cuts from taking effect sxwrjanuary 1st. nancy pelosi offered her take on plan b and she says right here what it really standses for. >> it's hard to imagine why they even came up with it, unless they wanted to prove to their members that unless 218 of them
were ready to raise rates, it's not going to pass, the democrats are not going to give them that success. you can be sure of that. so it's a tactic, but it's not a serious proposal. >> at the top there she said befuddled. >> what do you think about john boehn boehner's plan? >> the million dollar level, i'd take it and it seems reasonable actually. it cuts out the argument about the between 250 and a million and whether or not that's fair begin this economy. i'd take it. >> you know, the president, steve ratner, jumped up to 400,000 and boehner is at $1 million. do you get the sense they're moving closer together? john boehner is talking about a plan b, but that's a negotiating tactic. >> i think yes and no. i think we don't completely know. on the one hand plan b
ironically was a democratic plan when they called on congress to go ahead and pass the fax extension so you didn't have a tax increase on 98% of americans. they're doing that. remember if we go down this plan b route, it gets messy. we sort out the tax thing up front. that's done. the spending cuts, the automatic spending cuts and sequestration goes into effect on january 1. that's kind of messy because they're very ham-hanlded and they're very across the board. then what the republicans would do would be to use the debt ceiling when it comes up in february or march to force the kind of spending cuts they want. so we live in limbo for another couple of months. i think you can think of it as if the republicans don't take a meachem sort of civil war metaphor. the republicans don't like the piece of ground they're fighting on, so they want to move on another piece of ground to defend better against the union
troops. that's what you see up happening here. >> what do you mean against the union troops? >> that's interesting. >> are you saying the republicans support slavery, steve ratner? is that how you try to win? that's really sad. >> we almost got in trouble in the last hour. >> that's sad. you're talking about union troops. >> i'm a northerner. >> of course you are, you yankee. let's not talk about the war of northern aggression this morning. instead, let's talk about the fact that john boehner -- >> katty got excited because she thought we would talk about cromwell. very exciting. >> it's not just a tactic. it's telling that boehner has -- i think this is the best way to approach it with his on own troops. we're going to raise taxes on millionaires. that's a leap the republicans haven't made in a quarter century, so that ain't nothing. it may bring them to 500,000. >> right. but you have to agree on a
package of spending cuts. part of what this says is that boehner does not have all of his troops marching in lock step behind him. he has a much more complicated situation than the president. >> what do you say, general pickett -- >> that's the other side. >> what do you say when the argument is made that the millionaires will find ways to avoid the taxes and this is really a middle class tax increase and there aren't real spending cuts? that's the instant reaction from boehner's base. >> it's not a middle class tax increase because nothing is happening to the middle class. it's raising rates on those with incomes of a million dollars and above. are these people actually going to pay this money or not pay this money? there's a lot of stuff in the tax code that has to be fixed to solve the warren buffett of paying less than his secretary. this bill will not fix any of them. for the people in the million dollar brackett, they will pay
more taxes. >> why don't republicans -- you know the numbers on this. warren buffett talked about a 30% minimum tax rate. i mean, that would raise a couple hundred million dollars. >> 160 billion over ten years. >> that's pretty significant stuff. it's not raising taxes. it's getting 30% instead of paying at 14% when middle class americans are paying at double that right. >> it's interesting it's not only in the republican proposal. it is not in the white house proposal either. it's really not. >> why is that? >> i don't know the answer to that question, why it's not. >> could we not at least make millionaires pay at least 30%? >> that's what the buffett rule would do. >> it's millionaires and above. >> why wouldn't the white house support that? >> you would think they would. it's just not in their proposal at the moment. >> katty kay, any ideas. >> i wanted to ask steve a question. the you raised the idea of
closing up loopholes so those over a million pay more taxes. what are the chances that's actually going to happen? >> the way it will work is they're going to -- if they get this deal done, they agree on a revenue number, 1.2 trillion and agree on how it would happen if they can't find a better way, which is a mix of fax rates going up and cushing deductions on the wealthy and things like that. then they send the tax writing committees off to try to find a more fair way of doing that. i think the chances are probably 50/50 that over three, four, five months they have to do it they will in fact do meaningful tax reform. what people have to get in their heads is i do not believe we're looking at a fundamental restructuring of the tax code the way we did in '86. i think wishful things. if we get a meaning deficit reduction package through this congress and dmex congress, $4 trillion out of spends and out of an increased revenue i think will have done about all we can
a shot of the white house in washington, d.c. beautiful morning in washington. joining us now in new york we have britain's chancellor of the ex-checker george osborne along with gillian tett. in washington we have nbc news chief white house correspondent and political director and host of the daily rundown, chuck
todd. what do you make of speaker boehner -- >> why are we starting with chuck? >> because he's there and it's the fiscal cliff. all these politics to cover. >> chancellor of the ex-checker here going to chuck. i hope you would say the same thing about me. >> i defer -- i'll show deference to our former overlords. >> i'll just say, george, with all due respect i thought that perhaps chuck could give us the latest and perhaps he could react to it instead of launching into everything verbal vomit that some people have here on the set. >> let's go to the time author of "killing pit." is that it? >> wow. >> killing cromwell. >> killing cromwell. >> stay with the news here combining everything. ka chancellor, tell us who came to your cabinet meeting this week? >> we had a meeting of the british cabinet yesterday, which
happens every week. the queen came to the meeting of the cabinet. >> it happened. >> wow. >> you probably think if you watch every week, but this is the first time that a british monarch has been to the cabinet since 1781, george iii was there to hear of the bad news from yorktown. but not since 1781 has a reigning british monarch been to the cabinet. the queen sat and listened and they were talking about the economy and afghanistan. >> why was she there? >> she's celebrating her jubilee, her 60th year on the throne. she wanted to do things she didn't do before this year. you can turn up to the cabinet. >> sky-diving. >> is that newsy enough for you? >> that's great. >> what kind of advice did she give on the economy? >> we keep that quiet. no. she's a great leader of the country, but she doesn't get
involved at all in politics. you wouldn't know what her political opinions on things were, and she's never put a foot wrong in all the years she's done t. the first president she met was franklin roosevelt, so she's got a lot of experience. >> franklin roosevelt, one of the key moments of roosevelt's symbolic presidency. >> with her parents at hyde park. it's a symbol of english-speaking unity against the rising nazi threat. >> of course, they were horrified by it. it was one of roosevelt's great p.r. moves. >> it was. he fed the churchill family their first watermelon and told mary churchill if she swallowed the seeds they would grow in her stomach. it almost blew up the alliancal. >> how are you all doing? you obviously undertook austerity measures several years ago, and there have been some
complaints from others that you have slowed down the economy. >> look, like america, we've got similar challenges of big debts and high-d deficits and making sure we can create jobs. it's a hard road, but we're going tlehere. we had a high-def sit that def down. we're creating jobs, and that's the most important thing out there. >> chuck todd, do you have a question? >> well, i do have a question. one of the things that we're looking at here in this country is whether these awe teusterity measures would be a good thing to go five years out. if we go over the fiscal cliff some think five years the economy will hum here and unemployment will be down, but there will be a recession in between. you experienced a double-dip recession. is it worth it? >> austerity chuck said led to a
double-dip recession in britain. is it worth it for us here is the question? >> well, i wouldn't say it's led to a double-dip recession. we had problems with the euro zone on our doorstep, but in the uk we had a huge problem with a high deficit. we can borrow money cheaply and investors are coming to britain so jobs are created. it's a hard road when making progress, and i don't think western countries have an alternative p but to confront their problems, including their debt problems, and make sure that they're becoming more competitive to win that global race and make sure they're providing a future for their citizens. that's what we're doing in britain. >> if you were teaching an economics 101 class right now, it's very interesting. they have not gone down the path of real austerity and the uk has. there are a number of people that argue that's a mistake in
terms of crushing the economic growth. the one thing fascinates about the u.s. versus the uk today. although the uk has not had growth, it has created jobs. in many ways that's a mirror image of the u.s., which had a reasonable amount of growth and much is jobless growth. do you have any views why the uk has managed to create jobs and america hasn't? >> last week about the uk, we're becoming a more competitive economy. we've aggressively cut the business tax rates and moving up the rank of competitive economies in the world. i think the challenges in britain america are pretty similar. we face the same issues with a competitive ship to economic power to china and the like. we have to educate our children better. we're doing the things. i think the issues we take on entitlement reform and education reform, these are the things that the u.s. congress and administration have to tackle in the next year on or so. >> what about europe?
will the euro zone up stick together and will the uk start part of the union? david cameron said in the last couple of days there may need fob a referendum on that. >> the euro zone will stick together. they made a decision through this year. they made a decision to keep themselves together, and britain be want to be a fully fledged member of the european union and not of the euro zone. we don't have to merge our kurn stee, we don't have to american our budget policies, we don't have to do all the things they need to do to make their currency work. by the way, alexander hamilton taught us all you need to do to make single currency work a couple years ago. >> here's a point of view from the upcoming issue of the new york magazine. this is adam davidson saying god save the british economy. as long as it continues -- >> i wonder where this will go? >> as long as as it continues, it offers crucial lesson for the united states. so far austerity has not significantly improved economic
health. the plan to shrink the size of government did not generate a sudden surge of private sector confidence and investment. for all its differences, britain is similar enough to the united states to suggest that severely cutting government spending in america wouldn't be enough to quick reply speed up or own a frustratingly slow recovery either. advocates frequently point to britain's dismal experience as proof that unemployment will fall and economic activity will rise if the government spends considerably more money. >> look, first of all, unemployment has fallen, and for every job lost in our public sector, in our government, more than two jobs have been created in the private sector. >> is it sort of like what's going on here? the types of jobs that are less important pashgts time jobs? >> more hours are being worked, record number of people with employment and record number of women in empty.
no one wants to face an 11.5% budget deficit. that's what i faced two years ago. we took these decisions and the deficit is below 8%. whether it's the u.s. or european countries, we can't ignore the problems, which is we're indeblted and runs high deficits and are not competitive enough. we have to make changes if we provide a decent standard of living for in generation and future generations, you can avoid the question as long as you like and the u.s. can play it out a bit longer. it has reserve currency. a lot of people want dollars in the world, but you have to confront problems and that's what we're doing in the uk. >> i was going to say, we have ran out a pretty damn long time, and it looks like chuck todd we're willing to talk about raising taxes, but neither side including my republican party are really going where they need to go on entitlements, medicare, medicaid, social security, defense spending.
these areas where the big money is that's going to cripple us over the next 10 to 20 years. >> that's because it's not politically popular in either base. let's remember both parties demagogued med compaicare in th decade, and because of it they conditioned their own political bases that is more of a third rail in american politics than social security. look what the the president -- the president made the -- nancy pelosi said -- the president made the decision it is easier to change politically and the cost of living calculation in social security than it is to think about raising the eligibility age of medicare. 25 years ago, joe, there's no way na decision is made. you go the other way. medicare -- the two parties have conditioned the populous that medicare is untouchable. don't do it. any change in it is going to
your ruin life if you're on medicare. >> of course, the irony of that, the great irony of that is if we don't change, if we don't change anything about medicare, it will ruin our lives. all americans lives. medicare and medicaid by itself consume every dime the federal government taking in 15 years from now. every dime. >> joe, i have a question for you. if you were sitting in this congress and dealing with john boehner's plan b where he comes to you, saying, look, i'm in the middle of negotiations with the president. we may have an agreement that raising taxes and you have to go back on pledges. not all have to vote for it, because i'll get democratic help, or here's my plan b. it's basically only a tax hike here. i need everybody -- i need 218 of you because i won't get democratic help to do that. by the way, no spending cuts. we punt that down the road. i'm doing it for political leverage. is there any way he's going to
find 218 votes? >> no way. i wouldn't vote for na in a million years. i never supported any tax increases and find it immoral that our government on the federal, state and local level takes 50% of americans' dollars they make at work. if you get me for the first time anyway quarter century to say i'm going to agree to any tax increase, there better be a lot of spending cuts on the other side. we better get responsible about medicare, medicaid, social security. >> you wouldn't cast a vote for political leverage? that's what he's looking for. >> not in a million years. come to me, john boehner, with with significant spending cuts in medicare, medicaid, social security and defense spending and we'll talk about it. why give away your vote for absolutely nothing? i don't get it. >> i don't get today's plan b. >> chuck, thank you. >> thank you, chuck. >> see you on the rundown. we appreciate your deference. >> yeah.
>> the former orville. how do you not? >> just stop it. >> is that wrong? >> i'm a little nervous. he talks about a cabinet meeting not since george iii. you say that. come on. we better get nervous. >> the last time they were in the white house think burned it. >> those jokes never get old, do they? >> not too soon. >> isn't it a fascinating contrast with the situation with the chance lor. when the chancellor came into power he basically drew up a plan and implemented it. you were basically developing your austerity plans at the same time as boles simpson was talking. here we are three years later, and you've been implementing the plan and the american congress is denying it. >> i spoke to boles and simpson. there's a lot of similarity between what the uk has done and the simple season boles plan. we have had some tax increases and a consumption tax rise.
80% of the effort came through spending cuts and entitlement reform. i think if you're not really tackling the overheads of government, the cost of government and welfare, then you're not tackling the problem because the ultimate problem for countries like britain is they spend too much. not they're taxed too little. that's what we're tackling and at the same time bringing down taxes so people in this country and elsewhere say it's a good place to invest. >> george osborne, thank you very much. >> nau for being here. >> gillian tett, thank you as well. christmas time in new york city, you can't beat that. coming up gq's cover sthoot with bill murray. excuse any? we're going into the new movie. >> this is supposedly a big moment in the fdr movie about fdr feeding hot dogs to the
queen. >> to the queen mother. >> and george -- right. >> there you go. >> plus, nbc's tom brokaw joins the table. you all are tiring me. that's ahead on "morning joe." [ male announcer ] this december, remember -- what starts with adding a friend... ♪ ...could end with adding a close friend. the lexus december to remember sales event is on.
you can always go back. >> i love it. president obama, bill and hillary clinton, egyptian president mohamed morsi. i'm pausing for effect. please stop. yahoo! ceo marisa mayer. they are among the finalists for "time" magazine person of the year. we'll reveal who it is coming up next on "morning joe." [ male announcer ] families grow up but some things never get old... marie callender's dutch apple pie with fresh fuji apples and a crust made from scratch... it makes home at the holidays even sweeter.
>> if i were your father, i'd be proud. >> that was bill murray as fdr talking to king george vi of england in the new film hyde park on the hudson. the new issue has the comic actor on the cover with a piece titled "bill freaking murray." appropriately tom brokaw joins us as well. okay. >> tom brokaw and bill murray. >> counterintuitive. >> the last person i want to compete with is bill murray. >> you're good, tom. i kind of like your cover, except for the pink bra. you had to go there and have boobs there somewhere. >> everybody is geeking out that. >> geeking out? >> bill murray is a fascinating choice. i remember when he was going to
play fdr, i was really, really surprised. the reviews are in and he did a masterful job. >> jon has his book on jefferson. we need more big stories playing historic people. ryan gosling playing jefferson. >> i think that jon's success of his book speaks to this as well. people are looking for a brave he and heroic leaders at critical times in history. fdr led this country out of depression and into the history of man kind and he was also charming and complicated. >> just like bill murray. >> just like bill murray. he had a whole string of caddie shack franchises across the country. >> exactly. he loved to play pranks on people like murray. >> here's what the cover story says about bill murray. a pop culture icon since his mid-20s, he's emerged as
something for bizarre and transcend he not. a kind of wandering performance artists. everywhere and nowhere. indy movies and golf parties and college parties. some people photo bomb pictures. bill murray photo bombs life. >> i was talking about this wit. he said murray is leading the life he wants to live. he walked into a college bar and bartends for you. in a house party in brooklyn he shows up. he's living the life out there. >> he doesn't play the game. i understand if you want to get in the touch with the guy, lots of luck. >> he doesn't have an agent but an 800 number. you call it, and maybe he'll pick up the messages and maybe he won't. >> wow. what's your favorite bill murray movie? >> i've actually fallen in love day -- i love all of them.
i see you as dr. bankman. >> his pairing in "moon rise kingdom," but tannenbaums is great. i also love the stories of what he did. there was one time where wes anderson before he was wes anderson needed money to get this shot, and i think it was in rushmore, like 20,000 or 30,000. didn't have the money for the shot. bill murray said let me pay for it. >> that's why people love t. he's doing things he loves. he's not doing on ghost busters 4. he's doing movies that are smart and have a heart with them. he has a legacy of groundhog day or caddyshack. >> i think the answer is rushmo rushmore. >> tom like groundhog day. >> that's a great one. i love the tokyo movie with scarlet johansson. >> that's great. "lost in translation." >> it caught so much of our
times. here's a big star doing the whiskey thing, isolated. anybody who has been to tokyo as an american, it captured what it's like to be there. >> "groundhog day" captures it. every morning you wake up and it's the same bell. >> that's exactly right. >> except we don't keep getting better every day. we never learn. i still can't do the ice sculpture. >> one of my favorite bill murray moments was a big cubs fan, obviously. a few years ago the cubs were on the verge and lost it because a fan caught a foul ball. any cut to bill in the stands, and he was aware of the camera being there. he turned around, and it was pitch perfect. this intimate conversation with the people of chicago. it was completely spontaneous. he said, okay, everybody, just take a deep brept and settle down. we'll get through this together. relax. he turned back to the game. only bill could have pulled it off the way he did.
people felt completely connected to him. he was one of them as a fan, not bill murray. >> it was great and perfect. >> how did the fdr movie come about? >> he wanted to do the role, and to they came to him. again, it was him -- he picks great moments. i mean, who would have thought really him as fdr? i mean it half-serious. i think that sort of unconventional casting would do well. if you were going to cast jefferson, how about ryan gosselin or brad pitt.. you know? >> if you're a president -- >> tom brokaw as john adams. >> as the commercials spread off the list -- >> what do you think happened there with his chanel? i do you think? i just need to know. they're horrible. they're so spooky. they're like icky! icky! >> are we really being lectured by ice pop boy here? >> ice pop boy?
>> kate upton brought them along in this issue as well. >> you have kate upton in this issue? >> yeah. i can show you. that is the funniest commercial i have ever seen. >> you don't want a little benghazi here. >> do you want me to show you? >> yeah, show me kate upton. >> you're really pathetic. cannot do an article without putting kate up tton in there. it's smaller. >> tell us, what else do you have in here? >> a great piece on the bin laden doctrine. >> talk about that. >> really quickly, who is this? >> that's and friend of mika's. >> so he says they don't have kate upton and they have -- just for a second -- kate upton. >> sort of like the "where's
kate?" >> she's in every issue. isn't that something. >> seriously, talking about benghazi. one of the biggest stories is the capture of bin laden. we got a great piece about the doctor that sort of made that possible with the cia, the guy who went in there and sort df that genetic testing. cia admits it and they don't admit it but there is a different cover story, too. this guy's now in prison and the americans are trying to get him out. >> talking about bin laden obviously talking about the reporting of bin laden and reporting of al qaeda. you actually have an e-mail from a guy who reported on all of this -- >> richard engel is on his way home with our team. it is a great relief to all of us obviously. in the e-mail he describes as he has on the air already what they've been through. big news is we couldn't talk about this. but when they got to the checkpoint, a firefight broke out and they got out of the back
of the minivan. they got separated from one of their security guys that had been with them. they called pilgrims, former british sas guys, the best special forces in the world. he ran off in another direction barefoot. we've been worried about him. i keep saying he's sas. showed up at the turkish border today. he's okay. as richard says, six in, six out. thank god. >> fantastic! >> thank god. >> the new issue "gq" featuring bill murray is now on newsstands. we'll be right back with much more "morning joe." [ male announcer ] you are a business pro. executor of efficiency. you can spot an amateur from a mile away... while going shoeless and metal-free in seconds. and you...rent from national.
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up next on "morning joe" -- the nra breaks its silence on the sandy hook school shooting. what the lobby group said that may help gun control efforts. and what two governors said that may actually hurt. "morning joe" is back in a moment. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 this morning, i'm going to trade in hong kong.
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good morning. it's 8:00 on the east coast, 5:00 a.m. on the west coast. time to wake up, everybody. >> i'm not feeling well. >> why don't out in come to work today? >> i won't. my head's just pounding. >> all right. don't show up. >> willie, what do you think i should do? >> sit this one out. >> i'm out of here. let's take a live look at new york city. back with us on set, mike barnicle, steve ratner and catty kay in washington. >> what are you talking about?
>> just in the conversation about everything. >> i had seen here. rick perry, governor of texas, and bob mcdonnell. they said we need to arm teachers -- >> or we have to think about it. >> guns in school. so that's great. this gets me thinking. right? like -- >> really? >> because -- okay. that's what we were going to take care of last friday. so the shooting in the mall in oregon, i'm thinking maybe if we arm like the people that do the smoothies. the sunglass hut people. movie theater. the kid -- teenage kid -- >> spencer's gifts. >> spencer's gifts. yeah. that's the answer. >> that doesn't make a lot of sense. >> that's the answer. i mean -- come on! come on. by the way, bob mcdonnell, a guy that i like and respect, bob
mcdonnell -- and i do like him. and i agree with him probably 90% of the time. but on this gun issue, i saw jim's report a couple of years back on these gun shows in virginia where he gets a kid that was injured during the virginia tech shooting with an old i.d. and they just start handing him guns. >> oh, he came home with i think about six assault rifles in the trunk of his car. yeah. it was a good day -- >> you look at murders across the tri-state area -- pennsylvania. so many of them come from virginia with that gun show "loophole." i'm just saying bob mcdonnell said we need more guns? we need to give teachers guns, give people in schools guns? you know what? before we start arming more people we need to look at the gun shows in virginia that, again, allow trafficking of these illegal arms up here.
i mean they are bought legally and end up in the wrong hands. >> after jim's report and mayor bloomberg has been doing his own undercover work on this. >> that's one way that we show we're not totally serious on cracking down with guns. but another one is to say that connecticut is tough on guns which a lot of people have said in the last few days, and they are by the standards we have. the fifth toughest according to the brady campaign. but you could still get any number of automatic rifles. you can have a grenade launcher attachment on some of these. it is not really tough on guns. it is only tough by the standards we have. >> tough by the standards we have, which are very low. this slippery slope argument -- which by the way you could make on everything. if the tsa can frisk me at the airport, then what's going to stop them from following me back out to my car and checking through the trunk of my car and following my car back to my house and kicking down my door
and going into my closets. i mean you can make the slippery slope argument on everything. i have friends that i have great respect for at the nra, that have been supported by the nra that still believe that -- >> you get their point. >> of course i get their point! they say, well, if you take away this guy's bushmaster, then you're going to take away the glock. if you can take away the assault rifles, then can you -- no, we're not. no. no! guess what? people like manchin, people like myself, 80% -- 85% of congress would not allow anybody to come close to a glock that people use to protect themselves, a shotgun that people use. it's ridiculous. >> you have to respect the fact that at the end of the day we can be reasonable about this and we can find a middle ground and we can find a place to draw a
line that is both the right thing for society and also the right thing for the individual. what i've been thinking about over the last few days as i watched all this horror. but one of the thing that's struck me in the securities business, for you to operate in the securities business, depending on what part it is, you have to take tests, have you to be certified, have you to be fingerprinted, background checked, drug tested. if you work in a sales or trading job they record your phone calls that make sure whatever your interactions are with your customers are on the up and up. this is all part after regular story system. yet we say we cannot impose any form of regulation on something that actually kills people. >> i know a young man who applied for a job at a large financial institution. he wasn't arrested for it but he had a fake i.d. when he was 20 years of age in college, used the fake i.d., had the fake i.d. taken from him, it was reported to the school authorities and he couldn't get hired.
he couldn't get hired because that was on his record. >> but he could have bought a gun. >> he could have bought a bushmaster. he could have purchased a bushmaster. >> this is the craziness. this is the craziness. let's first get to what's going on in washington this morning. president obama is expected to announce that vice president biden will spearhead his administration's response to the newtown shooting. the president is not expected to go into detail on policy decisions. the national rifle association has broken its silence issuing a statement that reads, in part, this -- the nra is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again. >> i can stop for a second there? if progressives, if moderates, if conservatives that are concerned about these magazine clips and assault weapons, if they want to feel self-righteous and scream and yell and -- they can do it and we won't get a
deal. this is just like the fiscal cliff. in the end, it is just like what we saw -- in "lincoln," the 13th amendment. you know, if the nra comes out and says something like that, instead of everybody, oh, now you say it now that blood's on your -- you know what? guess what? feel self-righteous. you can save lives or feel self-righteous. beat your chest like jim and tammy faye baker. if that's how you sleep at night. but i tell you what, in the art of politics, when somebody extends an olive branch, you take it and you take the olive branch, then you grab their arm and then you bring them in and you figure it out. >> this is something -- i don't think i've seen this before. we haven't heard a lot from gun rights advocates or republicans on this side of this. have you been talking at all to any conservative leaders on this? >> well, i have. >> that haven't spoken up? >> i have spoken and i don't
usually do this. you know. i work and i'm with my family. i don't spend a whole lot of time on the phone talking -- i spent yesterday talking to conservative leaders and i deliberately called the most powerful influential conservatives in america, got them on the phone and i will tell you the one word i kept hearing over and over again -- ambivalent. you know what? we're ambivalent. we're ambivalent about this issue. when it comes to gun bans. we don't know that it's going to help, but at the same time we've got kids, too. and so and when i say am b ambivalent -- they're not am v ambivalent about the who are roars they saw. it broke them. but are they going to stand up and draw the line in the sand and put their lives and careers on the line and their networks on the line and their newspapers on the line and their magazines
on the line and their careers on the line? and the republican party on the line and the conservative movement on the line? so some survivalists can go around with automatic weapons for the next -- no, they're not. they're just not. and the nra has to realize this. i heard the same thing over and over again and i talked to these conservative leaders. they say, you know what? we were always with them. somebody brought the nra up back in the '50s, '60s. they were the ones that took you out and taught you how to use guns safely. they said, they just keep pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing. whatever we support, they want more. and enough. so i think the nra's hearing this from a lot of long-time friends and they realize that people aren't going to go over the cliff with them and they're going to have to pull back and cop killer bullets and all of these other things. >> and let's open the door to
that instead of -- >> but don't you think it has to happen quickly? i was struck by a piece in the "washington post" a couple days ago where it talked about what happened when rfk got shot and they finally used that as a moment to advance three years of trying on gun control. he told his guys, we've got 30 days, we got to get this going now. they got going and if eventually the nra closed in and they got a piece of what they wanted but they never got it all. seems to meet president has to do it now. >> what do you think of the choice of joe biden to spearhead the policy decisions that are to come? >> the president's put joe obviously in terms of relations with congress before in a position like this and he's had some successes. but you still have to wonder how much is really going to change. i've just got back from newtown yesterday and obviously it's brutal out there. you've moved in a state from shock when i first went up early on saturday morning to kind of
real grief and anger by the time i left. but there's still out there as well conflicting views on what to do about gun control. i spoke to one woman who came out of the president's vigil and she said no, we have to arm teachers in schools. she hates the violence, she wants to make sure this never happens again. that was mother who had kids in the newtown high school. it's interesting even in that community where they've gone through all of this there are different opinions on how you best deal with this. i speak to some people on the gun control side. i spoke to one person who has a very hard line on this. the author of a book "more guns, less crime." an academic is saying every single time there have been implementation of tougher gun laws, it hasn't done anything to diminish gun crimes. that's not entirely true.
australia in '96, a mass shooting they implemented very tough gun laws, mass shootings haven't happened again since. in britain it took time after the killings in a primary school. we had our own horrendous killing of small children in '96 in a small scottish school. there was a spike in gun crime after a handgun law was introduced but it only lasted about four years and after that we've started to see a decline in gun crimes in britain. there are examples of places where the law has been changed and the gun crimes have diminished. >> i don't know what academic you spoke to, katty, but i don't want him teaching any of my children because it is just flat-out wrong. flat-out wrong that when gun legislation is enacted in states that gun crimes rise after -- it's just -- you can prove it statistically, it's wrong. but the larger point, off of what you just said, is perhaps we should -- and the vice president could lead this, i
guess, in these talks that are going to start -- drop the phrase "gun control" from the lexicon and start implementing the phrase "gun sense." because again, it makes no sense for any citizen, law abiding citizen, to be able to go into a sportsing goods store in a mall to buy a weapon that navy s.e.a.l.s use in afghanistan and the other aspect of it is that governor mcdonnell and anybody else -- or this poor woman who you spoke to in newtown connecticut, suggesting that someone, teachers, be armed in schools, stop and think about that for a second. you come out of your classroom because someone has invaded your school so you come out more likely than not with a ..38 caliber revolver or say a glock and you're confronted with someone with a bushmaster semi-automatic weapon in the hallway? >> mike, i totally agree, it makes no sense. i was just reporting what people are saying out there.
there's no way -- this guy was wearing body armor. you'd have to be a trained marksman to have taken him out. >> i can certainly understand, though, the sentiment of the parents up there. i've got the sentiment not so far away from that school, which is where my kids go to school, i want an armed guard. you know? a trained armed guard. i want tough security measures. i understand that sentiment completely. >> where does that end? >> part of the sadness in newtown and sandy hook, they did everything they had in place. nobody opened the door for the guy. it remained locked. they did everything in their power and still this happened. in the immediate aftermath on friday of this horror, everyone started talking about gun control pretty quickly. people said, you know, we ought to do something but nothing's going to change. and the answer was because of the political power of the nra. i guess i would ask you, joe, as someone who's held office, what are the political costs of crossing the nra? how serious is it?
mayor bloomberg has called that a complete myth. what's the problem? >> i can tell you in 1994 i ran, nobody knew who i was. the nra worked overtime to defeat me because they didn't know me. they wanted a state legislator they wanted in. they worked overtime spreading lies about me, things that were just factually false. they went after me aggressively and i only got 62% of the vote. when we come back we'll reveal who "time" magazine revealed for person of the year. rick stengel -- >> when you see ratner's column, i wept. i'm crying. all right. former first family members recall their times in the white house during the holidays. the host of the nbc special meredith vee yar ieira and formt
daughter jen ma bush. but first, the forecast. >> as far at weather goes, today a big travel headache in the middle of the nation. a blizzard. the first of the season rolling from colorado all the way to wisconsin over the next 48 hours. the snow has begun in colorado. denver to boulder to ft. collins, cheyenne, wim yoming i where the snow is at this hour. blizzard warnings in the magenta color there. that goes through much of iowa into southern wisconsin. it will just be nasty driving, interstates 80 and 90 across the midwest, we could get 6 to 12 inches of snow. windchill of zero, winds gusting to 50 miles an hour blowing that snow around will be the big problem. also there is enough warm air on the south side of this storm, we're going to have severe weather. maybe even a few tornadoes late today. anywhere from the ozarks south wards especially around little rock, memphis, southern portions of arkansas, louisiana, we're going to watch you.
it is late tonight when most of you are sleeping. unfortunately that's when it is the most dangerous, too. if you live in that area of the country, beware of that severe weather threat, kind of rare this time of year. friends in the northwest are waking up to a lot of snow especially in elevations outside of seattle and portland. it is a difficult travel weather day across the heartland and in the pacific northwest. the east coast looks like it will be a rainstorm for you come thursday night and friday. too warm, no snow for us. doesn't look like anything until probably the end of next weekend. i got my eyes on that potential for a big storm after christmas. more on that in the days ahead. you're watching "morning joe," brewed by starbucks. ♪
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is this supposed to make me feel better? >> i miscalculated. >> with us now, "time" magazine managing editor rick stengel here to reveal the magazine pick for 2012 "person of the year." but before that, some breaking news. he's just issued a restraining order on jon meacham to stay away while they're trying to pick "person of the year." >> john knows a lot more than i do about our "person of the year." and i've used him as a historical consultant. before i reveal the choice -- i won't ask you this question because it would tip what the
choice is. but the question is, is there another person in this position who has also won it two times on his first election and his re-election? >> oh, okay. >> george h.w. bush? >> no -- yes. >> he won it in '88 and -- >> no. george h.w. bush only -- >> george w. bush. >> george w. bush got it -- >> in 2000 -- >> twice. george w. bush got it when he was first elected and on his re-election. he's the only other president besides -- >> really. >> yes. >> thank god meacham's here to confirm. >> so i was right. >> not mitt romney. >> who is it, rick? >> our "person of the year" for 2012 is president barack obama. and thiraph. we were in the white house last wednesday and obama posed for a picture. then we did a terrific interview. the story is by michael shearer,
our white house correspondent. joe, i know you predicted it. i tuned in yesterday and i think it's a kind of impossible to do an alternative choice. he's been the dominant figure. this couple of amazing statistics. he is the first president since fdr to win with a majority of the vote in consecutive terms. he did that against an unemployment rate that was higher than anybody has ever won against -- except for roosevelt 75 years ago. and i think part of what our story did -- michael shearer was really the first person to write about the data crunchers in the obama campaign, what all that showed, it wasn't just about demography but about how the country has changed and is changing. these changes we've talked about are here right now. this amazing statistics is that mitt romney won the same
percentage of the white vote as george herbert walker bush did in 1988 when he won 436 electoral votes. that's just stunning. it's an example of how the country has changed. it's not just a demographic change. there's a cultural change. think obama represents a cultural shift in terms of how we think about politics and how we think about government, how we think about each other. >> this is a cultural shift and jon meacham, i thought it was very telling what newt gingrich said about the republican party's challenges. he said they either wake up to the realities that are facing them, this election was much worse for them than they expected or there will be young voters who will be obama democrats for the next 40 years. this could be a watershed election if the republicans don't respond in the correct way. >> one of the interesting things -- i wonder if rick in thinking all this out, if what you all made of this -- is, fdr
had this legacy. you still had people db hubert humphrey was still running in 1968 as an fdr democrat. one question i have, is this wave of democrats and is obama himself a soohey generous figure or a clintonian figure? >> the "r" word, realignment, is something people are talking about. there was a reagan realignment. you could basically argue this is finally the end of the reagan realignment and there is kind of an obama realignment now. the question is, is this realignment heritable. one thing michael shearer discovered with the numbers crunchers, they started to find in the last six or seven weeks in the campaign these supposedly undecided people who didn't like politics, didn't like republicans, didn't like democrats, they liked barack obama. they saw him as someone who was
outside of politics. even the first debate which we asked him about -- he had a hilarious answer about -- even the first debate they thought, yeah, he's not playing the game. the question is this, whatever it is, this 15%, is that inheritable by someone else. can hillary clinton still get those voters? people think she is outside of politics, outside of washington the way that people think of barack obama which is a wholly new thing. >> i think the answer to that is, no. i don't see this being transferable to another politician especially because the man himself is an island unto himself in washington, d.c. he is not a democratic party boss like tip o'neill. he's not really even connected with the chicago political machine. >> curiously, people like that. >> that's a great thing -- unless you are the democrats that want this to be passed along 40 years from now.
>> but is there in your view a philosophical way of being that is heritable, to use rick's word? is this pragmatic problem solving approach that clinton began and obama has clearly taken through this four years, five years so far, is the next republican victor going to have to be someone who's less ideological than say 30 years ago? >> i take exception with the suggestion that barack obama has been pragmatic. he passed a lot of things the first two years by running to democrats and getting their vote. i believe the great historical challenge comes over the next four years. i think the president going from $250,000 to $400,000 knowing he's going to hit up $500,000 on this debate, i think barack obama has a chance to do what
eric cantore told bob woodward after he mitt him the first time, which is that if he's pragmatic, if he comes to the middle, then he could lock us republicans out for a very long time. i mean i think that's the great challenge for barack obama -- can he do what he appears to be doing right now with john boehner and that is upsetting a lot of people in his own base for the betterment of their own party by saying we're going to raise it from $250,000 to maybe 500 m $500,000, we're going to have to go after entitlements for the best interests of the country. >> the first two years it was such a strange situation. when we talked to him on wednesday, everything he said was about -- he wasn't saying government has to be bigger. government has to be smarter. government has to be better. it was like the "lincoln" line -- this is a fantastic picture, by the way. joe, that's one of the pictures i was talking about. >> you're letting us know. these are all exclusive to
"morning joe." >> the little boy -- >> tell us about the -- go back to the first one. >> the first one is really special which i will -- the one where he's writing the speech at malia's school. you have that one? so that's -- i don't want to describe it if you can't see it. >> who's "spider-man"? >> i don't know who spider-man is. >> what's the story behind that picture we just saw? >> that's from the white house photographer. it is on halloween, i think. and little spider-man surprised the president. >> here's the picture you're talking about? >> the picture i'm talking about which i still do not see is apparently on the night that obama was -- gave his wonderful speech in newtown was the night that malia was in "nutcracker sweet" and he wasn't able to see
it. so he went over to the school in the afternoon to watch the last dress rehearsal and there's a wonderful picture of him sort of sifting by himself and sort of looking ow and also taking notes and working on his speech for that night. >> there he is. >> you look at that picture and you know just like you knew when he held the press conference that when he gave that press conference he was not giving it as the president of the united states, he was giving it as the father of two young girls. it touched all of us so much. your cover this week actually, a dork like jon meacham and myself will recognize it, it is different than other "person of the year" covers. and it seems to reflect the time that we're in right now. >> yes. i mean it is a somber and resolute president. it's a darkish picture. we used a silver border, silver logo for the first time for "person of the year." we have four internal covers so that we thought silver made it
seem even more special. it's actually available right now on your ipad. you can spin through the covers. >> of course i'm 1 of the 4, right? the internal ones, right? you have me in there? as a runner-up? >> i think you were six. >> doggone it! just missed it again! >> shout out to your art director. >> d.w. pine, our art director and kara pine, our director of photography, are the gurus of how this issue looks. >> "time" magazine's "person of the year" is president barack obama. rick stengel, thank you so much. up next, meredith vieira and jen ma bush hager join us. their special on first families and the holidays. back in a moment. ♪
all of the work that goes in to ensuring that every year the white house looks even more resplendent and beautiful than it did the year before but that ever more people are brought in to that experience. >> barbara actually would take the little things off the gingerbread houses -- >> that is so not true! >> barbara, i remember you. >> i did not. i maybe did. >> i have two daughters. i'm not sure they get along as well as you guys do. that was a clip of a white house christmas. it gets better, right? a white house christmas, first families remember. now the host of that nbc special, meredith vieira along with the executive producer of the special, jenna bush hager with insight that comes along with being executive producer of that special. >> it was jenna's idea actually. >> i mean we're such a small group of women and men -- mainly
women in this special -- who have had the privilege of living in the white house although i never lived there but spending time in the white house and even though we're defined by so much more, our careers, our husbands, our children, you know, it's a privilege. so we thought it would be fun to share. >> what did we put together? meredith, what did we learn that perhaps people who don't have that experience? >> well, the tradition, yeah. the tradition of setting a theme for the white house christmas. that started with jackie kennedy in 1961. we talked to first families, nine first families, beginning with the johnsons and ending obviously with the obamas about the experience and it is really the first lady that defines the theme. she is the hostess in chief. very focused on military families. i'm sure with your folks as well that was a big part of the focus. beginning with the volunteers. they bring military families in to help decorate and children of the military families put on
ornaments on the trees. so it is really lovely. >> you got a sense going behind the scenes preparing -- just how much -- how many people and volunteers and different organizations go in to putting this all together. >> yeah. 100 volunteers, i believe it is. they deck kate 13 trees, 13 rooms. the hallways, the outside. 140,000 bulbs. lights. >> we were talking, jenna, we showed a picture of president obama watching his daughter practicing for the nutcracker because he had to give a speech at newtown. we just -- you just forget unless you've lived it and experienced it. like everybody in your family who's been president of the united states, the rest of us forget sometimes about the humans that are in there. you had to go back to your dad and your mom and after 9/11 and during the wars and everything else. how did they keep everything in perspective? your dad always seemed to keep
everything in great perspective. >> that's so true. they're families first. everyone. the obamas and their kids. that's what's most important is spending time with families. and for us, i mean one of the things i like about this special is that it shows real historical perspective from the kennedys through september 11th and actually the tours after september 11th really came to a stop because it was only several months afterwards. so people were still really scared. my mom talks about even her friends who would normally come up for the white house christmas party didn't come because they were still scared to fly. it's hard to remember the feeling that our country had then -- >> the barney began then. >> they could show americans the way it was decorated. but my parents always just made a priorities, my grandparents as well, about family. and it was really touching to be together after that time and for all americans i'm sure it was.
>> jenna, your grandparents were famous for being sure they stayed in washington because of the secret service and people in the house could be with their families and the people who move with the president in the modern era. can you talk about what the people whom we don't see but who make so of life for presidents and for the life of the nation possible? >> yeah, we did that with my parents and grandparents. we stayed at camp david which is an hour and a half outside of d.c. so that the chefs could have the time off and so the secret service could go home and be with their families and even now, i said what are we doing for christmas this year? my parents said well we're staying in dallas so the secret service can stay with their families. you go spend time with your in-laws. >> that's not very nice! >> please! go to the in-laws. >> eating mexican food for christmas eve? >> i don't think so. my in-laws are from virginia.
nachos? i think there's so many people that protect the president that make sure that the holidays go off in this beautiful way and i think it's important that we recognize them, too. meredith got to see all of these amazing volunteers who make it look the way it does. it truly is magical. >> i didn't realize that they applied to be a volunteer. i'm sure thousands of people write in or go on the website. the folk that get that opportunity are moved. they were crying as they were decorating because it is that time of year where people remember that it is the people's home ultimately. you live in it for a certain period of time but it is really the people's house. >> it definitely is. >> look at this. >> the most resplendent decoration -- right here. >> i brought that in because it is the only time we went to a white house party -- christmas party for the press. my husband is a journalist and kind of a hardened guy. before we even got home he was saying i'm framing this picture. this is prominently displayed.
>> i love that. >> it is so funny about what the white house will do even in the most cynical -- >> absolutely. >> when i got up there i saw congress, it's great, you're walking around, it's great. it wasn't until -- the first time you walk in the white house you're like, okay, this is really cool. >> it is magical especially during this time of year. and from being a child i mean, i was in first grade, until now and going back just recently to be with mrs. obama, it's a magical place. >> you were there a little bit when you were younger with amy. >> whoa. >> a long time ago. there's amy. >> amy's in! amy is actually in the special as well. which is great. >> is she really? >> yes. we hear from her as an adult. >> that's probably the first time we've heard from her in a while. >> besides mrs. reagan.
but -- >> who couldn't do it. >> but everybody else is in it. >> good for her! i can't wait to see that. >> well, congratulations on your production. congratulations on your future production. >> i had nothing to do with that one. >> i like that prom photo. >> so what's the due date? >> yeah, right. i'm just kidding. >> is that a national security -- >> i'm not going to say the due date but i'm due in the spring. is that close enough? >> hold on a second. did i ask what the due date was? what's the due season? >> the spring. that would have been a nicer way to say it. the due date's coming soon. >> that's reminiscent of some numbers in your family? i heard that tone. >> catch a white house christmas, first families remember, tomorrow on nbc at 8:00 eastern time.
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joe gives his camera to a tourist says i'm attractive, take a picture of me. boom. the picture is taken. picture is taken. >> where are we going here? >> you -- >> i'm so confused my teeth hurt. >> you take it on instagram. next thing you know your photo is used by aquavelva in an add. instagram, the photo sharing service, changed terms of service because they were bought by facebook where basically any photos you upload can be used by advertisers without your okay and without pay. >> i can just say, this is why i've always hated instagram. i've got kids that are so precious to me and of course i take a million pictures, like any parent. a couple of times i took it on instagram and i thought i had had all the security things in place? and suddenly people are commenting on how cute my kids are.
i'm like what? so i completely have gotten rid of the app. i love the app. i can't use it though because i never know when the world's going to see my kids. >> you got to blame facebook here though because they bought instagram. this is some business plan for them. >> it is outrageous, isn't it? >> it is. take it one step further. imagine the kids are in an ad. you didn't approve the ad. suddenly it is a banner ad on a webpage. everybody is up in arms about the new instagram terms of service. hopefully they'll work that out. i will not use it. i'm not going to have my kid blastered somewhere for an ad for large-eared overly large children. abc earmuff corporations endorses this kid. >> thank you. >> have a great day.
>> of the few clues we know from inside the lanza home, it is that his mother loved guns and passed that passion on to adam. by all accounts nancy lanza was a devoted mother. one psychologist told us she may have used her interest in guns to connect with the disconnected adam and draw him out. there's no mistaking the deadly power of military style semi-automatic rifles like the bushmaster. we easily obtained two with no background checks. first ordering one on the internet and having it delivered by mail. another time through a private purchase picking the semi-automatic rifle up at the owner's home. no i.d. required. >> mike, this is something that jim's been doing for some time. he's gone to virginia gun shows. mika says she'll just walk in and there will be piles of guns that he's gotten without any background searches, nothing. online, going to other people's homes. this is -- >> insane. >> this is incredible that you can buy these weapons of death